As many of you know, cognitiveSEO likes tackling in-depth, extensive digital marketing topics. We like going all analytical with our blog posts and case studies. There are two reasons behind it. One – to find as many solutions as possible to questions we marketers have. Two – we enjoy to dive deep into research and learn new marketing tips.
We’ve decided to write something out of our comfort zone: an article dedicated to awesome workspaces belonging to great digital marketers. This article has proved to be more than just a novelty for us: it has been a genuine highway to fun.
But one way or another, creating a set of cool digital marketer workspaces seemed a hip idea, therefore we gave it a go. Plus, it is a great way of proving Cynthia Rowley’s theory which goes like this:
|I’ve got a theory: if you love your workspace, you’ll love your work a little more.|
|Fashion Designer at Cynthia Rowley|
Each desk has a personality similar to its owner. So we went hunting for the best workstations in the marketing field. We wanted to find out what type of personality they have based on their workstation.
Stay with us on this journey and you’ll discover:
- how we paved our path to delivering the “coolest workspaces in the digital marketing world”;
- which marketers accepted the challenge, and disclosed their office spaces/coworking spaces;
- who they are;
- their pics and must-have gadgets, and eventually;
- what to learn from this experience.
These are the professionals who spiced up our “Cool Marketing Workstations” list:
- A Down-to-Earth Guy’s Workspace by Jack Meredith
- The Minimalist’s Office by Eduardo Yi
- The Bold One’s Work Desk by Wilson Hung
- The Winner-of-’Em-All’s Workspace by Sean Bestor
- The Restless Traveler’s Office by Tomas Laurinavicius
- The Practical Guy’s Office Desk by Benjamin Beck
- The Rebel’s Office by Sol Orwell
- The Artist and Marketer’s Workspace by Ty Magnin
- The Marketing Guru’s Office Desk by Derric Haynie
- The Champion’s Workspace by Sujan Patel
- The Magician’s Office by Benji Hyam
- Superman’s Office Desk by Aaron Orendorff
From the very beginning, the article generated a fun-mode-on atmosphere at cognitiveSEO. Although we were the ones writing the blog post, guess we ourselves were the most eager ones to hear from the digital marketers we outreached to.
There are not tens, nor hundreds, but thousands of people who delight in creating inspiration boards on Pinterest regarding their home, office space, garden and so on. Probably, you are one of them too. Compiling this set of inspiring workspaces from digital marketers around the world was like a Pinterest activity. Which is kinda awesome!
But the cherry-on-top was the sneak peak we were about to be introduced to.
Fellow marketers across the globe, people we admire and look up to, either from wide-known organizations or fresh start-ups, have disclosed the aces up their sleeves when it comes to devices, gadgets and things they couldn’t live without on a daily basis.
It all started from a Slack post:
A few days later, we already had answers from notable marketers such as Sean Bestor, Benjamin Beck, and Sol Orwell. Great! Just a few more to enlist in our challenge and we could call this article a success.
Browsing them you’ll see how different professionals are from one another. Needless to say, their digital workspaces too. Apart from details such as shape, size, or location, you’re soon to notice how diverse these marketers are from one another. Hipsters, neat freaks, minimalists, clutter fans, you name it, they’re all there.
All digital marketers who accepted the challenge had to answer to a couple of questions:
- Take a photo of your cool desk setup, upload it to your favorite file sharing service and share it with us.
- What’s on your desk? Make a list of items and share your reasons why you can’t live without them.
Without further ado, let’s see the coolest digital marketers workstations in our industry.
1. A Down-to-Earth Guy’s Workspace by Jack Meredith
|Roost stand: Getting a Roost stand changes your life. Never be hunched over again.|
|Senior Growth Marketer at Kettle & Fire / @jvmeredith|
Jack Meredith is a Senior Growth Marketer at Kettle & Fire, and co-founder at Open Eye Signal, a web design, and marketing consulting company for SMB’s and start-ups. He is a growth marketing junkie and full stack marketer, with a taste for early stage companies.
These are the items you’d normally see on his desk at work:
- Asus VS239H-P 23-Inch Full HD 1920×1080 IPS HDMI DVI VGA Back-lit LED Monitor. Not the greatest monitor but it gets the job done for a marketer;
- Roost stand: Getting a Roost stand changes your life. Never be hunched over again;
- Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard: Reliable, found via wire cutters;
- Logitech Wireless Marathon Mouse M705: Reliable, found via wire cutters;
- AKG K 240 Semi-Open Studio Headphones: Cost-effective headphones that give Bose and Beats headphones a run for their money.
2. The Minimalist’s Office by Eduardo Yi
|My desk setup is very minimal—and that’s intentional.|
|Lead Content Marketer at Teachable / @eduardoyi|
Eduardo Yi is the Lead Content Marketer at Teachable, a job he loves having, as he states in his LinkedIn bio. As a digital marketer, I’m just happy to have found a career path in which work means nerding out, he says. That’s creative thinking, for sure!
In a similar tranquil vibe and with youthful transparency, he told us what he uses at work on a daily basis:
- My desk setup is very minimal—and that’s intentional. I have very little stuff lying around to avoid distractions.
- A second screen, keyboard, and mouse are all I really have in there.
- The standing desk also helps me stop procrastinating, just because I get tired of standing and feel like I should just get stuff done so I can go sit.
- I also have a plant, which is not mine…but I water it sometimes anyway.
We already like the guy. There’s much to learn from him. In wisdom, we can all learn how true and topical the saying “less is more” is.
Our mind can make associations in an instant and thus lose its focus, yet if we try to keep ourselves concentrated, we should take the example of Eduardo and try to get rid of every distractor that is standing in our way of having the job done.
3. The Bold One’s Work Desk by Wilson Hung
|Airpods: Totally worth it. I can walk around the office or stretch while I’m on calls.|
|Growth Marketing at Kettle & Fire / @wilsonghung|
Wilson wrote detailed essays on growth featured in Forbes, ConversionXL, SumoMe, and shared by Andrew Chen, Guy Kawasaki, and 500Startups. Were he to talk about his life experience, he would start telling you how he quit his job as a chemical engineer to apply a data-driven and scientific approach to acquiring customers. His life roadmap is quite inspiring; if curious, check here.
When asked about what’s usually on his desk, here’s what he said:
- Dual Monitor Setup: this is critical as it allows for increased productivity. Left monitor will normally be Slack, or a data set (spreadsheet), where as the Main monitor will be the “productivity/working” monitor;
- Far Right Task Management with Sticky Notes: Segmented based on “Completed This Week, High Priority, Medium/Low”. I can never keep my Trello board updated, but something about seeing it all the time on my desk helps prioritize my workload. Every Monday starts with prioritizing my week/sticky notes;
- Bluetooth Mouse + Keyboard: Again, spend extra money on tools you use every day. Don’t settle for using your laptop’s trackpad. Instead, improve your ergonomics and also productivity (mouse set up super high sensitivity will allow you to click/move around that much faster);
- Airpods: Totally worth it. I can walk around the office or stretch while I’m on calls;
- Notepad + Notebook: I use notepad for one-off things like sketching funnels, pricing, random thoughts. I use the notebook for meetings + keeping organized so I can refer back to meeting notes + action items;
- Aeropress + Coffee: Coffee at my office sucks, so I make my own =) Plus it’s a good routine in the morning + after lunch and helps me take breaks;
- 1L Water Bottle: Gotta stay hydrated, and the bigger the bottle, means less times you have to get up and refill.
4. The Winner-of-’Em-All’s Workspace by Sean Bestor
|Air Traffic Control Headphones: No joke, I use these all the time. I write best in absolute silence. $20.|
|Former Content Marketer at Sumo / @sbestor15|
Sean has an extensive experience as a creative digital strategist and marketer. Plus, he has a track history of being a multiple award-winning copywriter.
By the time we collected answers from fellow marketers, he was still working at Sumo, writing the coolest stuff on the web, quoting him from LinkedIn. At the present, he is a Digital Strategist at Whole Foods Market, a company that has been on Fortune’s Best Places to Work List every year for 20 years straight. You should also check his website, it’s pretty cool and info-packed.
And because humor never hurt anybody, he chose to embrace it and make us giggle. See for yourself in the lines below:
- My computer – A definite upgrade from the “Speak and Spell” I had in 1st grade;
- Notebooks – I sketch landing pages, product pages, funnels and ad ideas in here all the time. Can’t have enough of these;
- Tiny Alcoholic Drinks: As a warm-up to my bigger alcoholic drinks;
- Beats Headphones: For when it’s time to get creative with maximum base;
- Air Traffic Control Headphones: No joke, I use these all the time. I write best in absolute silence. $20;
- Camelbak Eddy: A gift because apparently walking to the faucet and putting your face under the spout 20 times a day is frowned upon;
- Signed Champagne Bottle: From my initiation at Sumo, everyone signed it;
- Cubs Hat: I don’t actually like the Cubs. But on a retreat, we got to watch them play (the year they won the World Series). That was pretty fun;
- Autonomous Stand Up Desk: Just a game-changer. Though honestly, I sit on the couch most of the day.
5. The Restless Traveler’s Office by Tomas Laurinavicius
|To organize my daily to-do list I use Todoist and physical notebook from Collins.|
|Lifestyle Entrepreneur at tomaslau.com / @tomaslau|
Tomas Laurinavicius is a digital marketing, media contributor, and writer, but could easily be taken as a wanderer. He is 25 but has checked more things than others could do at this age. He describes himself as having an ENTJ personality, hence his thrive, charisma, and confidence.
Tomas is a lifestyle entrepreneur and blogger from Lithuania, writing about habits, lifestyle design, and entrepreneurship on his blog and weekly lifestyle newsletter – tomaslau.com. Simultaneously, he is a contributor to many renowned media, business, and marketing outlets in the world, such as Forbes, Observer, Huffington Post, Influencive, Creative Cloud and The Next Web. He enjoys sharing his knowledge and coming with effective solutions that inspire others.
His latest ambition and desire is to travel the world and empower 1 million people to change their way of living life from that day on.
But getting back to cool digital marketers workspaces, let’s see his:
- MacBook Pro 13″ is the most important machine I use daily to run my business, write, learn and plan my travels.
- To improve my posture I recently invested in STANDapart, a featherweight laptop stand, Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse to keep things clean and wireless.
- To organize my daily to-do list I use Todoist and physical notebook from Collins.
- Most of the other time I use iPhone 6s Plus, for reading Kindle, Scribd and iBooks. Alternatively, I use my iPhone to take quick digital notes, get directions for coffee shops I want to try next and take photos.
- For the last 2 years, I kept my workspace extremely minimal and portable while traveling to over 30 countries.
Lessons to learn, you ask? Needless to say we need more courage to do what we dream of. There’s not much you need to know about Tomas to see his thrive towards making his dream a reality. He put effort in achieving this, but more important, he put ambition. And we guess this works as a marketing tip too.
6. The Practical Guy’s Office Desk by Benjamin Beck
|Mouse – With my laptop being so high I need a mouse and I like to game so I like a wired mouse more than a bluetooth.|
|Founder of Link Building Class / @ben_beck|
Benjamin Beck is one professional that likes things to be clear and straightforward, but never leaves quality and client satisfaction out of topic. He is the creator of the free email course Link Building Class. The platform sends you comprehensive lessons on link building techniques deployed by top professionals to rank higher in some of the harshest industries. All for that nerve racking way of increasing organic rankings and traffic.
Beck is set on helping businesses succeed online, thus he came up with benjaminbeck.com. As an online marketing specialist, Benjamin comes with an enviable set of skills meant to solve start-ups, charities, and small businesses’ problems in connecting with customers and growth.
Guessing you’re anxious to find out what’s on his desk, we shall proceed further with the list:
- Roost Stand – Portable laptop stand that saves my neck!
- Bluetooth Keyboard – Portable so I can still type fast;
- Mouse – With my laptop being so high I need a mouse and I like to game so I like a wired mouse more than a bluetooth;
- Headphones – I just got some Bose noise cancelling headphones which are nice;
- Messenger Bag – I use a Timbuk2 bag to carry all my gear wherever I go. Have had it for 4 years now.
Beck usually works remotely, which undoubtedly has its perks. Nice background! Should one ever want to take a break and do some fun exercise, the climb walls are right at hand.
7. The Rebel’s Office by Sol Orwell
|I like pictures. On the left is a pic at my sister’s wedding, in front of me is a pic of my woman and I at NYE, and on the right is me as a baby with my grandparents (my grandpa was a badass – literally born on the streets, rose to become a Supreme Court Judge).|
|Co-Founder of Examine / @sol_orwell|
Apparently, traveling has become a real phenomenon. Interesting enough is that traveling is not just a medium to escape the ordinary work life or procrastinate duties, but it’s more of a boost to your inspiration and fuel to your work binge.
Sol Orwell, 30, is just the right match to this trend. One thing Orwell couldn’t live without is traveling. For him, having independence is paramount, and he doesn’t let anybody control his time and freedom of movement.
Sol Orwell is a well-known digital marketer, mostly known for co-founding Examine.com, a site selling reports on nutritional supplements, and for speaking about entrepreneurship. Over 15 years of entrepreneurship, 6 companies, over 8 figures generated – all these surely must point to an inspiring professional.
He likes to say that he is semi-retired, and we can see both the sense and the irony, as we know his free lifestyle. He says he’s living the immigrant dream, as he likes creating companies in different niches and then hand them over to someone else, people who are able and entitled to make the most out of them. If curious for more, you should check this.
Here’s what he wrote us about his work essentials:
- It’s my work space, so I like to keep it simple and clean.
- I like pictures. On the left is a pic at my sister’s wedding, in front of me is a pic of my woman and I at NYE, and on the right is me as a baby with my grandparents (my grandpa was a badass – literally born on the streets, rose to become a Supreme Court Judge).
- I have my Field Notes (every time I meet people I take it with me – I never use my phone for any notes), and my Productivity Planner (which keeps me on track).
- Otherwise, I Just have trinkets I have picked up from travels and others have given me. Eg the little toy “dog” on the left was given to me by my buddy Andy Morgan, who flew all the way from Tokyo to Toronto because we invited him to a potluck we were hosting. It reminds me of all of the crazy connections I’ve made through the Internet.
Not only he is a valuable, inspiring marketer, but also a great story-teller. He made us dive deep into visualizing the people, places, and objects mentioned by him.
8. The Artist and Marketer’s Workspace by Ty Magnin
|MacBook Pro with 16gb ram. I spend so much time on my computer. Having a fast one with a big screen is worth the investment.|
|Director of Marketing at Appcues / @tymagnin|
Ty Magnin is Director of Marketing at Appcues, and previously first marketer at Work Market, with extensive experience as a digital and content marketer. Having roots in poetry and film production, he is one authentic fellow marketer.
Simultaneously, Magnin built tymagnin.com, where professionals can learn how to boost upvotes on ProductHunt, build blog audiences, and scale self-services. He is talking big numbers, in support of his tips and tricks, all experienced by himself at first hand with his marketing strategies.
His philosophy is “fewer but better”, which has greatly impacted the way he approaches blogging, email marketing, customer stories, and life in general. His experience as a video producer and writer helped him shape both his lifestyle and skills. One thing he learned is this: “Most of marketing is writing. I think if you have a love of writing, you get focused on the particulars. That attention to detail plays out when you’re writing marketing copy and orchestrating campaigns”. More on his career roadmap as a successful digital marketer here.
Because we particularly enjoyed reading his list and the little stories attached to each thing on his desk, we’d like to share it with you:
- Macbook pro with 16gb ram. I spend so much time on my computer. Having a fast one with a big screen is worth the investment;
- Sticky notes with frameworks/themes. I need constant visual reminders to make an idea a habit. These sticky notes help remind myself of the important frameworks I’ve set for the marketing team to keep us aligned;
- Matcha tea. I can’t drink coffee. It makes me tense. Matcha green tea has let me switch off of it, and it’s great for you;
- Headphones. I often listen to the same song on repeat all day when grinding it out. Music helps me focus sometimes;
- Second monitor. I like using this because it helps my posture. I’ve had this background image for years now—it’s the New York Public Library and always inspires me to work and study hard;
- Off to the left you can see my standing desk. Sometimes it’s great to extend my legs;
- Hat from Bali. No real reason this is here other than I like wearing it.
9. The Marketing Guru’s Office Desk by Derric Haynie
|Business cards, 23 inch monitors, speakers.|
|CEO at Vulpine Interactive / @SixPeppers|
At present CEO at Vulpine Interactive and Co-Chapter Director at Startup Socials, Haynie manages to rock that work experience as a marketer. With several high positions as CEO, Head of Growth, Co-Founder, or President, Derric Haynie is the entrepreneur to go to when in need of counseling and effective solutions. In addition, he enjoys working with his wife, Shana Haynie, in running events on marketing, entrepreneurship, and startup growth.
Vulpine Interactive is about social media marketing, in terms of content, branding, engagement, and analytics. It helps professionals across the globe to manage and grow their teams, innovate their social media strategies, and build powerful brands and passionate fans.
As for Startup Socials, this one is a global events company meant to connect and empower people in the startup ecosystem.
Eager to find out what Haynie’s workspace looks like? Brace yourself, as you’ll be surprised:
- Business cards.
- 23 inch monitors, speakers.
- I have this button that says “Fuck” on it, and when you hit it, it says something ridiculous. It’s for stress relief.
- Mic stand and camera are very important as well.
Don’t know about you, but we love the sense of humor marketers display nowadays. After all, that’s all life is about – knowing how to deal with things and situations. Interesting, though, how much you can grasp from a concise snippet as such.
Talking of humor, we have a challenge for you: Spot the button in the picture!
10. The Champion’s Workspace by Sujan Patel
|Batman Clock. I’m a big batman fan and even have a batman tattoo on my arm. The clock reminds me to have a life and help people as the clock was a gift from someone I helped through a tough time.|
|Co-Founder of WebProfits / @sujanpatel|
With a vast experience in digital marketing in general and SEO, content marketing, PPC, social media in particular, Sujan Patel outruns many marketers with his knowledge. He is a data-driven marketer, entrepreneur, and avid writer for publications as Forbes, WSJ, Inc., and Entrepreneur Magazine.
His hobbies are growing companies and helping others solve problems. Sujan is the Co-Founder of WebProfits, a growth marketing agency. He says he enjoys sharing everything he knows and usually creates more content than most consume.
Our advice is to check his website, and join his weekly newsletter or get in touch with him, as you’ll benefit from a lot of rich, useful information.
Although he usually works 80 hours/week, Sujan Patel loves hitting the gym in the early hours of the day when most of us are snoring out loud. If he’s not there, you’d most probably find him at the race track racing cars and motorcycles, or conquering the skies while skydiving. Interesting though how sometimes hobbies emerge from fears – at least that’s what happened to him and his fear of heights.
Getting back to workspaces and must-have tools that change the world, here’s Sujan’s workstation:
- Batman Clock;
- Macbook Pro 13inch;
- iPad Pro 12inch used mostly as a 2nd monitor;
- Unicorn Pen;
- I’m a big batman fan and even have a batman tattoo on my arm. The clock reminds me to have a life and help people as the clock was a gift from someone I helped through a tough time;
- Macbook Pro & iPad Pro are perfect for travel and working anywhere;
- I use a pen & notebook to write down things that I need to remember, brainstorm and doodle. I also use evernote but I haven’t been able to replace goold of fashion pen and paper;
- I hate clutter and things. I try to keep my life simple as all I really need is a computer, phone and internet connection to live 90% of my life.
11. The Magician’s Office by Benji Hyam
|Co-Founder of Wordable / @benjihyam|
Benji Hyam is the Co-Founder of Wordable and Grow and Convert, with massive experience as a digital marketer, having also previously run marketing for two VC backed startups. His experience in the marketing industry has lead him to successfully outrun fellow marketers, and leave a mark in each company he worked with.
Wordable, previously Postable.io, is a SaaS web app where professionals can import posts from Google Docs to WordPress in one click. Content managers, blog editors, and solo bloggers love it and call it a revelation. Nevertheless, their motto stirs your curiosity: Try it. It feels like magic.
Grow and Convert is here to offer articles, training, and services for you to become a top 1% content marketer. Featured in publications as Entrepreneur, The Huffington Post, Growth Hackers, and ProBlogger, Grow and Convert is a content marketing agency and consultancy for growing businesses. Benji makes the magic happen on the content strategy and promotion side of the company.
And because magic is simpler than most of us think, Hyam told us about his secret tools for making wonders happen:
Nothing. I’ve been traveling for the last year and half doing the nomad thing and it helps me write when I have a computer, a nice view and no distractions.
Undoubtedly, you’re dead curious to see for yourself what nothing really looks like.
12. Superman’s Office Desk by Aaron Orendorff
|Books, books, and books — most notably, behavioral economics texts like ‘Misbehaving’ by Thaler and ‘Thinking, Fast and Slow’ by Kahneman, along with ‘The Challenger Customer’ because that book continues to blow my mind when it comes to content marketing.|
|Founder and CEO of iconiContent / @iconicontent|
Orendorff was featured in Forbes 25 Marketing Influencers to Watch in 2017. With extensive knowledge and experience in content marketing and communication, he contributed on many occasions for business, tech, and marketing publications such as Mashable, Entrepreneur, Huffington Post, Lifehacker, Inc., Fast Company, Business Insider, Success Magazine, The Next Web, Content Marketing Institute, Copyblogger, MarketingProfs, ConversionXL, Unbounce, and more.
His motto is “Saving the world from bad content”, and aims at helping professionals improve their content strategies, content marketing, and copywriting techniques.
One way or another, his career path is amazing. Curious enough to see what his digital workspace looks like? The photo will just make you regret your desk isn’t sending a similar smart vibe as Aaron’s:
- Two MacBook Pros to separate my work for Shopify Plus from personal projects;
- A horizontal monitor for writing — always on Google Docs — and a vertical one for taking screen shots and doing research;
- Microsoft’s Natural Ergonomic Keyboard and Mouse to save my wrists from all the hard, hard work of being a full-time writer;
- Flexible cell phone tripod and camera remote for taking non-selfie selfies and posting them to social media — the engagement on those is crazy;
- Books, books, and books — most notably, behavioral economics texts like “Misbehaving” by Thaler and “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Kahneman along with “The Challenger Customer” because that book continues to blow my mind when it comes to content marketing;
- Beats Headphones for high-quality remote meetings and calls;
- Picture of me and my girls to remind me what matters;
- A figurine of the Three Little Pigs a former college student gave me because I use that story over and over to teach my one great, educational love: outlining.
After such a rich array of photos and smart gadgets to empower you in your quest of changing the digital marketing ecosystem, we ask: What’s to learn from these millennials?
Apart from triggering a fun mode-on atmosphere and giving food to our restless curiosity regarding fellow professionals in the industry, we believe situations like this create bonds.
Nevertheless, it is inspiring and challenging to see how others perform at work, what they do, where and how. Witnessing digital marketing influencers at work can empower us, fellow marketers, to strive for more.
In another train of thoughts, it’s interesting how most digital marketers have attached stories to the enlisted tools and gadgets. Objects often trigger memories and once you share them you let others be inspired. There’s a lot to learn from these stories and life snippets, and we’re glad we’ve come to learn them.
Charlie Chaplin said once that a day without laughter is a day wasted. We can all agree on that. Digital marketers sure know the perks humor has. This is one of the many and main reasons we enjoyed reading their list and researching about them.
We created a set of snippets both from websites bootstrapped by the above-mentioned marketers, and from their Twitter accounts. They prove the rule that a fine sense of humor can sometimes indeed make the difference. Enjoy!